The Millville Volunteer Fire Company has added a new vehicle to their arsenal of apparatus — a 2015 Ford Super Duty F250 with a SpaceKap slide-in unit. The new fire police vehicle will replace the department’s 1989 Ford.
“It was originally a brush truck that was converted to the traffic-control use,” explained Fire Police Capt. Harold Lloyd. “It just outwore its usefulness.”
The new vehicle was outfitted to meet the department’s needs, with LED lighting, power outlets, a remote-controlled traffic arrow and more.
“Supposedly, the cap itself will outlast three pickups. So it’s interchangeable between units over the years. It’s a lot better vehicle. It’s definitely a lot more visible and allows us to get through traffic easier.”
The rear doors are even customized — with the rear doors being broken up into a 40-60 split.
“On the street side is the 40 percent — that way the door doesn’t hang out into the area of traffic flow,” said Lloyd.
The vehicle, which joined the department on Aug. 6, now responds to all calls the department receives — from medical assists to fires.
“The fire police are responsible for traffic control and crowd control. We take a lot of concerns for our firefighters — especially on an accident scene — that they know traffic is going to be controlled and, if we have to detour traffic away from the scene, we’ll do so,” said Lloyd. “Crowd control — if you get a big fire, you always get a lot of spectators. We try to maintain integrity of the fire scene by keeping people away from the area.”
MVFC Public Information Officer Bob Powell praised the fire police for responding to calls in all types of elements and helping to be the face of the department while dealing with the public during an emergency.
“Fire police are really unsung heroes in the fire service,” he said.
Soon, the new F250 will be joined by two new ambulances, expected to be received by the department this fall.
“Our mission is to respond to emergencies that arise in the community. Whether it be an accident, a fire or an act of Mother Nature, and to help mitigate whatever that emergency is,” said Powell. “Sometimes we can do it just with our own company, and other times we need other companies to come in and assist. And other times we go and assist other companies that have an event they need mitigated.”
Lloyd emphasized that the department would not be able to exist without the support of the community.
“Delaware is unique, in that there are only two career fire departments in the state of Delaware — Wilmington, and the other is on the [Dover] air base.
“The capital city, Dover — that’s a volunteer fire department. It’s probably the only capital city whose fire department is staffed by volunteers.”
He added that the local company is working to continue to educate the public on how essential their financial support is.
“We have so many people who move in from the metropolitan areas that are so used to riding down the street and having a fire station here and on the other side of town they have another one… staffed and paid for through community taxes or the government. They don’t understand, sometimes, the volunteer firefighter process.
“At 2 o’clock in the morning, we don’t have a career staff in-house. You get up out of bed, you get dressed, you respond to the fire house and you get the apparatus out on the street. It’s just a whole different process.”
The Millville Volunteer Fire Company has more than 100 members, all of whom joined to do one simple, yet essential, service.
“When I was asked that question back in February of 1971, my answer was, ‘I want to give back something to the community.’ That’s pretty much what it is. You don’t do it for accolades… It just gives you a nice feeling to help people who are in a time of need, whatever that may be,” said Powell.
“I would like to think it’s because of a desire to give back — pay it forward,” said Lloyd. “After 50 years, it kind of gets to be a habit.”
Donations to the Millville Volunteer Fire Company may be made online, at the firehouse or over the phone. For more information, visit www.millville84.com or call (302) 539-7557.